The 800 Pound Social Gorilla

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Well, it looks to be official. I think it’s going to be the next email, MySpace, even Facebook. What is it?

Before I answer that question and delve into why it’s going to be THE next big thing, I would like to back up the monster truck just a little bit.

It’s my impression that social networking online is a gradual progression and that there is always something new that is waiting to become the next big social phenomenon.

It’s like the proverbial 800lb gorilla lurking in the corner of a dark room. When it feels good and ready, the sucker goes big, just absolutely bonkers and destroys everything in its path. For example, email, instant messaging, MySpace – at one time, each of these were the 800lb gorilla.

But each of these went through the following phases:
1. Exciting and new social phenomena
2. Embraced by pop culture
3. Hyped relentlessly
4. Replaced by the next big thing

Currently Facebook is the hot property in social right now. The social networking site has eclipsed MySpace for total amount of unique visitors. I think Facebook is in the process of being completely embraced by pop-culture and while its star power is continuing to rise, I really wonder how long it will continue to rise.

So what will be the next big thing? What will be the Facebook slayer?

Well, it hit me like a ton of bricks to the face while watching Leno of all things. It’s going to be Twitter and here’s why.

Celebrities are embracing Twitter. I don’t have scientific data to back this up, but when Hollywood finds something new and exciting, the lemming phenomena usually reigns supreme.

The other night Leno sounded like a Twitter infomercial. It was in his jokes during the opening monologue and while bantering with Kevin Eubanks, was the source of even more jokes. And when Ellen DeGeneres plopped down on the couch, gosh darn it if she wasn’t raving about Twitter too.

I know those three people alone don’t count for all of Tinsel-town, or all of society for that matter, but I have been hearing a lot of chatter lately, all over the place, about athletes, celebrities, musicians and even the president himself embracing or discussing the social medium known as Twitter.

So, look out! Twitter is the 800lb gorilla in the room and it’s getting set to go bonkers. You have been warned.

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